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Old 27-02-2015, 07:53   #1
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Cross-Cut vs Tri-Radial?

I am pulling the trigger on my sails today after long waffling.

The final question is -- cross-cut vs radial.

Cross-cut is a good bit cheaper. Radial sure is prettier.

The tri-radial would be carbon and technora laminate, with two layers of mylar on either side of the woven carbon and technora base cloth. The carbon fibers run up and down in the direction of the leech, where the stress is higher. The technora in the direction of the foot, where there's more flexing. The sailmaker says that the latest laminates don't delaminate at all -- that they wear out when the taffeta disintegrates and the leech blows up.

The cross-cut would be either DP Flex Ultra or one of the other DP laminate cloths. It's about 20% cheaper.


What are the real advantages of a tri-radial cut? Is it unnecessary with laminate cloth?
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Old 27-02-2015, 08:59   #2
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Cross-Cut vs Tri-Radial?

The reading I've done indicates that the tri radial will maintain its original shape longer than the crosscut.

In general the crosscuts have a longer total usable life that is more related to the material used than the cut. Also a lot easier to recut crosscut when it starts to blow out regardless of material.


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Old 27-02-2015, 22:11   #3
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Re: Cross-Cut vs Tri-Radial?

DP Flex is kind of a poor mans laminate, it has a bunch of extra fibers to try and take care of diagonal loading which kind of works but not fully. It is more popular for sails made in countries where labor rates are high as it can be assembled quickly. A exotic tri-radial cruising laminate is far superior. This is talking from a racing standpoint. For cruising I prefer a woven like Hydra-net. The laminates still do de-laminate in high humidity, I have one sitting right beside me.
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Old 28-02-2015, 05:54   #4
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Re: Cross-Cut vs Tri-Radial?

I don't agree that laminates don't delaminate. I had a North main (triradial) that delaminated after 3.5 seasons of cruising with a jib not far behind it. Also mildew is still a real problem if care what they look like,


Your sail maker is right about one thing, they do blow up. Call DP and ask them when they started making the cloth you are looking at. If it wasn't in the last few years then nothing has changed. Their customer service is quite good. They have offices in the UK and I think in the US.


For polyester, why not DP Blade?
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Old 28-02-2015, 06:04   #5
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Re: Cross-Cut vs Tri-Radial?

I think both options are wrong. The obvious choice for me is tri-radial cut and the Hydranet material. The sails will last much longer, making this by far the cheapest option for cost/yr and the performance is very close to good quality laminates so that for cruising it doesn't make sense to go to a laminate.

Like others, I have had to dispose of my laminates after delamination.

I actually met racers during passages and saw their faces turn white a little bit into their game of making fun with their speed superiority. I don't claim that I won, but some had to pull out way more sails than what I was flying with my lowly Hydranet

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Old 28-02-2015, 06:23   #6
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Re: Cross-Cut vs Tri-Radial?

DH, who is making your sails? I think the problem is more you are spoilt for choice in the Solent.

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Old 28-02-2015, 06:49   #7
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Re: Cross-Cut vs Tri-Radial?

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
I think both options are wrong. The obvious choice for me is tri-radial cut and the Hydranet material. The sails will last much longer, making this by far the cheapest option for cost/yr and the performance is very close to good quality laminates so that for cruising it doesn't make sense to go to a laminate.

Like others, I have had to dispose of my laminates after delamination.

I actually met racers during passages and saw their faces turn white a little bit into their game of making fun with their speed superiority. I don't claim that I won, but some had to pull out way more sails than what I was flying with my lowly Hydranet

Well, Nick, you've got a low-stress ketch rig -- you can afford to use a woven cloth. Exactly the kind of rig and boat which is perfect for long distance cruising, in my opinion. Not fair of you to attribute your speed to your sails, when it's your boat!

I have a high stress, high aspect cutter rig -- different ball game. And I'm adding an even higher aspect blade jib which will require tremendous leech tension. If I want decent shape over a decent period of years, I have no choice except laminate.

I've eliminated the Flex Ultra and am now down to Carbon-Twaron laminate from Bainbridge vs. Dyneema laminate from DP (the DYS laminate).
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Old 28-02-2015, 08:07   #8
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Re: Cross-Cut vs Tri-Radial?

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I have a high stress, high aspect cutter rig
...and Hydranet ain't your Grandma's old Dacron... plenty performance-cruising multihulls are using Hydranet
Hydra Net® - Sailcloth Technology by DIMENSION-POLYANT - Sailcloth and laminates for high performance sailing and polyestersailcloth for surf
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Old 28-02-2015, 08:50   #9
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Re: Cross-Cut vs Tri-Radial?

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Originally Posted by jaybird1111 View Post
...and Hydranet ain't your Grandma's old Dacron... plenty performance-cruising multihulls are using Hydranet
Hydra Net® - Sailcloth Technology by DIMENSION-POLYANT - Sailcloth and laminates for high performance sailing and polyestersailcloth for surf
Yes, but it's still woven -- which means that the threads are crimped, which means that under stress they will pull out the crimp and stretch.

Hydranet has a very low percentage of Dyneema threads which reduce stretch compared to plain Dacron, but it still stretches.

It should be ok in places with moderate winds, but up here we sail in a lot of very strong conditions and it puts a lot of stress on the sails.

It's especially ruinous for headsails to be sailed with a reef in in very strong wind -- so common here.

To combat that, I am ordering a high aspect blade which I hope will be good up to about 30 knots without reefing. This will save the yankee, and both sails should last more than twice as long, I hope. Since I can switch down to the staysail at 30 knots, I might avoid reefing altogether on long passages. The downside is changing sails of this size is hard physical work and possibly unfeasible at sea.

The other thing I wish I had known about earlier, is how well my boat sails with full main and staysail with the yankee put away. I had no idea, because I always assumed that would produce a lot of weather helm. In fact, it doesn't, because the main is very high aspect and the boom ends well forward. I only discovered that this year. That will give me another option for sailing in strong weather -- say high 20's true wind -- to spare the principle headsail.
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Old 28-02-2015, 12:42   #10
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Re: Cross-Cut vs Tri-Radial?

I would argue that my sails are more extreme in high aspect than yours and designed for 30+ knot winds.

There are three different weights of Hydranet used in the tri-radial panels for strength and shape control. The computer model showed a 92% shape retention compared to the laminate option.

I would suggest you ask more quotes and opinions. Try Elvstrom.
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Old 28-02-2015, 13:21   #11
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Re: Cross-Cut vs Tri-Radial?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaybird1111 View Post
...and Hydranet ain't your Grandma's old Dacron... plenty performance-cruising multihulls are using Hydranet
Hydra Net® - Sailcloth Technology by DIMENSION-POLYANT - Sailcloth and laminates for high performance sailing and polyestersailcloth for surf
i'm a huge fan of Hydranet cloths, had a triradial roller genoa and a triradial cut fully battened main from Hydranet on our last UK boat a 41ft Jeanneau Sun Legende cruiser/racer with a tall rig large high aspect sail area and consequent high loads. We had excellent sails made for us in Hydranet by Crusader sails in Poole, UK. The sails that came with that boat from the previous owner were North laminates and fell apart after an AZAB two handed race and 5 years cruising the Med. North sails in the UK BTW were, and I think still are, made in lofts in the far East.

We needed a new in-mast main for our current 36ft Beneteau Oceanis 36CC (cruising) boat in the USA and we ordered it from Crusader in Poole, UK who made it and delivered it to Florida in under a month, excellent sail and knowing very well my liking for Hydranet they even made it in that cloth too. Oh and it was 40% LESS cost including delivery than a basic dacron sail as quoted me in Florida, by the same outfit who tried to charge me $300 just to inspect the original sail then tell me it needed replacing (pretty darn obvious really as it was 15 years old original Beneteau supply and had lived all it's life in Florida sun) and 'they could offer me a special deal' I must have 'Idiot' tattooed on my forehead in their eyes!
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Old 28-02-2015, 13:58   #12
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Re: Cross-Cut vs Tri-Radial?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin3 View Post
i'm a huge fan of Hydranet cloths, had a triradial roller genoa and a triradial cut fully battened main from Hydranet on our last UK boat a 41ft Jeanneau Sun Legende cruiser/racer with a tall rig large high aspect sail area and consequent high loads. We had excellent sails made for us in Hydranet by Crusader sails in Poole, UK. The sails that came with that boat from the previous owner were North laminates and fell apart after an AZAB two handed race and 5 years cruising the Med. North sails in the UK BTW were, and I think still are, made in lofts in the far East.

We needed a new in-mast main for our current 36ft Beneteau Oceanis 36CC (cruising) boat in the USA and we ordered it from Crusader in Poole, UK who made it and delivered it to Florida in under a month, excellent sail and knowing very well my liking for Hydranet they even made it in that cloth too. Oh and it was 40% LESS cost including delivery than a basic dacron sail as quoted me in Florida, by the same outfit who tried to charge me $300 just to inspect the original sail then tell me it needed replacing (pretty darn obvious really as it was 15 years old original Beneteau supply and had lived all it's life in Florida sun) and 'they could offer me a special deal' I must have 'Idiot' tattooed on my forehead in their eyes!
Yes, it's surprising, but sails seem to be cheaper in the UK than they are in the US. More competition, I guess -- with an excellent sail loft or two in every port in the Solent .

I chose to forego the far east route, and have my sails made by real English craftsmen in a local loft. The cost difference -- when you are dealing with expensive laminate cloths -- is not that great, since labor is not the main element of the cost. And I like to be able to look my sailmaker in the eye
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Old 28-02-2015, 14:33   #13
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Re: Cross-Cut vs Tri-Radial?

How about a third option - A "Miter Cut" genoa using a premium woven dacron like Marblehead from Challenger. Unlike laminate it will: last 15+ years, not mildew, set well when reefed on a furler, and look like a sail instead of an extra strong trash bag -- oh, and cost less.

After having three successive laminate genoas each last less than 5000 miles (and look awful most of that time because of the mildew splotches), I had Mack Sails make me a sail like the above -- just like the genoa I had on my first cruising boat in 1980 that was a great sail. I'm sure there are plenty of UK sailmakers who can still make this sail if the customer asks.

Anyone thinking of buying cruising sails should read these two pages from Mack Sails:

Sail Cloth
Mack Sails - Main, genoa, jib, spinnakers

And try this. Every sailmaker, including the PO's, claims that delamination and mildew on laminate sails is a thing of the past. So why on the docks does everyone still have laminate sail horror stories?

See if your sailmaker will give you a five year warranty against delamination and permanent mildew.
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Old 28-02-2015, 15:31   #14
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Re: Cross-Cut vs Tri-Radial?

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Yes, it's surprising, but sails seem to be cheaper in the UK than they are in the US. More competition, I guess -- with an excellent sail loft or two in every port in the Solent .

I chose to forego the far east route, and have my sails made by real English craftsmen in a local loft. The cost difference -- when you are dealing with expensive laminate cloths -- is not that great, since labor is not the main element of the cost. And I like to be able to look my sailmaker in the eye

I find it difficult to comprehend that here in Daytona Beach despite there being quite a few sailboats amongst the many motor yachts, that there is no local sailmaker, even of the very basic 'do a few repairs' kind, nor even a rigger ( I had to have West Marine make me a set of new guard rail wires recently), I believe the nearest ones are down south in Stuart or Fort Pierce or Fort Lauderdale areas. We were spoiled for choice when we lived in Poole,UK with multiple choices in town and even more in the nearby Solent. Crusader were my sailmakers of choice for many boats over many years. They were my chosen local sailmaker (and riggers when required too), always came and measured our boats too. All work is in house, designed, cut and built, not contracted out in whole or in part as so many others do these days. The key with all of them methinks is to discuss your personal expectations desires and budget and full explore and understand all the available options. Sadly internet forum answers are always going to be personally biased (slanted might be a better word) as nobody is likely to have recent valid experience of every possible option on every type of boat.

It is nice to be spoiled for choice! Enjoy.

Robin
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Old 28-02-2015, 16:07   #15
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Re: Cross-Cut vs Tri-Radial?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin3 View Post
I find it difficult to comprehend that here in Daytona Beach despite there being quite a few sailboats amongst the many motor yachts, that there is no local sailmaker, even of the very basic 'do a few repairs' kind, nor even a rigger ( I had to have West Marine make me a set of new guard rail wires recently), I believe the nearest ones are down south in Stuart or Fort Pierce or Fort Lauderdale areas. We were spoiled for choice when we lived in Poole,UK with multiple choices in town and even more in the nearby Solent. Crusader were my sailmakers of choice for many boats over many years. They were my chosen local sailmaker (and riggers when required too), always came and measured our boats too. All work is in house, designed, cut and built, not contracted out in whole or in part as so many others do these days. The key with all of them methinks is to discuss your personal expectations desires and budget and full explore and understand all the available options. Sadly internet forum answers are always going to be personally biased (slanted might be a better word) as nobody is likely to have recent valid experience of every possible option on every type of boat.

It is nice to be spoiled for choice! Enjoy.

Robin
Yes, I agree.

The marine industry is far better developed in this area, than any place I've ever been. That means you have a large community of skilled engineers and craftsmen with very high standards. Competition keeps the prices down -- surprisingly, considering the fact that the UK is generally much more expensive than the U.S.

Thus very highly skilled engineers charge only 40 or 50 pounds an hour -- cheaper than I used to pay very unskilled engineers in Florida.

So of course this is the place I would choose to have my sails made, especially since I live here.
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